Excerpt About Experience

Primary and Secondary Components of Experience
Let’s take a look at how the nature of the primary and secondary components of our experience differ according to what stage of the journey we are in. In the first stage, the primary component and the secondary component tend to be similar. The primary component might be an emotion, such as fear or terror or happiness, or it could be a sense of deficiency or a particular pattern or self-image. The secondary components might include fear or rejection of the sense of deficiency, judgment or shame about a particular self-image, or commentaries and plans about whatever else might be arising. We learn through the process of inquiry how to discern the two components and distinguish them from one another. First, we need to recognize a reaction as a secondary component and not as the primary event. The recognition of any secondary component makes clear what the primary component is. That’s why we always want to include both in our inquiry. Because if we don’t see our reactions, we’ll never know what the primary component is.

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